For 23 years the last Wednesday in May has been set aside as a time to remind older adults of the benefits of exercise. On National Senior Health and Fitness Day, seniors are encouraged to explore the many ways they can keep fit and the countless benefits that come from an active lifestyle.
Regular exercise can help prevent illness, improve balance and prevent falls, improve blood pressure and heart health, keep blood sugar levels in check, keep bones healthy, improve mood, lessen symptoms of depression, and might even help to prevent dementia.
Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can offer countless physical and mental benefits. Whether you get moving for 10 minutes at a time, three times a day, or all at once, it could be the most important half hour of the day.
A simple daily walk can do the trick, but if you need a little more motivation, or want to try something new, there is no shortage of options.
The Act II Seniors Club at Adventist Midwest Health offers a variety of programs, including fitness classes, to people over 50.
Fitness Fun takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 8 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., as well as at 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, in the Dixon Education Center classroom at LaGrange Memorial Hospital. The class combines strength training with low-impact aerobics and stretching. The cost is $5; $4 with the Act II member’s discount.
Health & Fitness Walking Class happens at 8:15 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday morning at the Western Springs Recreation Center, 1500 Walker St., Western Springs. Spend an hour walking your way to better physical and mental health. Cost is $35 for a five-week session. Call (630) 942-2700 to register.
Get in the Swim
Aquatic fitness classes allow people with fibromyalgia, arthritis, back pain and other joint limitations to exercise without the impact of regular fitness classes. Paulson Rehab, 619 Plainfield Road in Willowbrook, offers warm-water exercise classes several times a week. Call (630) 856-8200 for details.
The Senior Center in Western Springs offers Seniorcise, a fitness class just for seniors, every Tuesday and Thursday morning, as well as line dancing on Monday afternoons. Call (708)246-3299 for details.
The Community House in Hinsdale offers a variety of adult fitness classes, including Prime Time A+ - a low-impact workout designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, strength, balance and flexibility. It’s offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, and a 10-class punch card costs $45, $65 for non-members.
Sit and Be Fit lets people with limited mobility enjoy the benefits of exercise. This seated class, held Mondays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m., works on range of motion, circulation, flexibility, balance and strength. A 10-class punch card is $60, $75 for non-members.
Ageless Yoga modifies classic yoga exercises to easy standing poses and low-impact work in a chair, resulting in improved strength and flexibility. Held at 10:30 a.m. every Friday, the class costs $48 for 10 classes, $58 for non-members.
To learn about more fitness options, and all the Community House has to offer, visit thecommunityhouse.org, or call (630) 323-7500.
Most area park districts and park departments are gearing up for their summer class schedules, many of which include classes for seniors. From tap dancing to “sit and be fit” classes, chances are there is a fitness option that will work for you.